It’s certainly a very special holiday season for fans of HIT THE LIGHTS. The Lima, Ohio, pop-punks began 2012 with the release of their third full-length, Invicta. Now they’re ending the year on a high point: Original vocalist Colin Ross is rejoining the band for this last string of shows, including an appearance at A Very GK Holiday Festival this Friday in Boston. Vocalist Nick Thompson caught up with AP to discuss the return of Ross, a new documentary about the band, his current listening habits and the dispelling of at least one sordid rumor.
There’s all sorts of stuff happening with Hit The Lights. I know you’re now managing yourselves. What else is going on?
NICK THOMPSON: We’re doing this last tour of the year with our old vocalist, Colin. He was able to take time off work, so this will allow us to play some old stuff and allow me to play guitar again. It’s really cool; it’s really a nostalgic time for us. We’re also bringing out a film crew to do a documentary for the tour. They will be with us until Dec. 23. We’ll take that footage and release it when it gets to the point when we should. Then, I guess we’ll see. We might take a break, maybe do some overseas stuff next year, see what happens.
Whose idea was the documentary?
We were approached by our friend who’s a director. He did our video for “Earthquake” and he was on the road with us for a few days last year. We call him “Bubba,” but his name is Kyle Thrash.
“Thrash?” My God, that’s a great punk-rock name.
Exactly. It’s brutal. [Laughter.] He said, “Listen, I’ve got this time off, and I really want to make this for you guys. I think we could make something cool.” We trust him and believe him, so we brought him out. We’re fronting the cash now, and we’re looking into Kickstarting [the project] to see what our fans would be interested in.
You going to pull some strings and get the Bon Jovi stadium-rock camera-on-a-crane?
[Laughs.] I hope so! We’re shooting the show in New Jersey, so we might get a crane there. We’ll see. We’ll be filming pretty much everything, but for the Teaneck show, Kyle will bring a crew out with him, so it will be a little more in-depth than the other [shows].
This tour just started.
Yeah, two days ago. We got the first pancake out of the way; we played an hour-and-a-half set [Laughs.], so now we’re rearranging the set. It was nice that we were able to do it in Canada, as we haven’t been there since 2009. It was fun.
So the Canadians got the dress rehearsal with all of the mistakes, so now every night in America will be perfect.
Exactly. That’s the way it should be, you know? [Laughs.]
It’s early in the tour so it’s premature to ask how many times you wanted to punch Colin. Seriously though, is this a permanent situation or just old friends on a pre-holiday Viking ship?
“Pre-holiday Viking ship”—I like that a lot. We all still hang out in Lima. We never stopped hanging out, ever. We all have the same group of friends and stuff. Omar [Zehery, guitarist] brought it up to me how he had talked to Colin about [the tour], and how Colin was real interested to do it and was able to take off work and rearrange his own schedule. It’s a short run, and it’s not too bad. I wish we could do it more, as some people are mad that we’re not coming to their area, but I’d rather do a little bit than nothing at all.
You haven’t played many gigs yet, obviously, but what’s the experience like? Does it feel new or like déjà vu?
It brings back memories I forgot I had. I play guitar on some of the old stuff, and that’s something I miss doing. I haven’t been used to singing and playing guitar in so long; it’s been weird. Old memories rush back and things I don’t remember playing rush back to me automatically. It’s funny: We were practicing last week, and there was a point when I forgot where we were in the song, but my hand kept going and it was doing all the right stuff. And it kinda creeped me out! [Laughs.] It’s funny to see that stuff is still there, even if I don’t know it is.
What have you been listening to lately?
The new Paper Route, the new Purity Ring, all the Stray From The Path records, new Deftones… And a lot of the Janet Jackson Pandora station, too.
What do you want for Christmas?
Money. [Laughs.] Money so I can do whatever I want and not have to work. That would be nice.
Nice work if you can get it. I’ve heard that for the Glamour Kills show, Hit The Lights are going to pull a Red Hot Chili Peppers-style cockings-in-stockings trick.
That’s an excellent idea! Keep that rumor going! The ultimate stocking stuffers. [Laughs.] Seriously though, the last thing I need to do is lose a stocking and end up going to jail because some 16-year-old saw my penis. I don’t know—duct tape or something? alt
Check out the band’s site for upcoming tour dates. Hit the Lights appear at A Very GK! Holiday Festival, Friday December 14 at the Royale in Boston.